Hospital Sends Out The House Fags

I wanted to post something light and positive today. I really did. After all the bad news of the last few weeks I thought it would be nice to leave something fun before the Thanksgiving break.

Sadly, that will not be possible.

Recall that two months ago I published a story about Lisa Pond, a lesbian who was left to die alone because Jackson Memorial Hospital refused to acknowledge her partner Janice Langbehn or their children even after required legal documents had been produced.

Recall also that her partner’s suit against the hospital was dismissed after the court found that a Florida hospital has a right to do that to anyone, regardless of whether a hospital actually does do that to anyone other than a lesbian.

In yesterday’s guest post on Steve Rothaus’ Gay South Florida (a blog of the Miami Herald), John Dorschner posted a defense of the hospital by several lesbian and gay employees.

It’s an oddly-timed and transparent public relations move not unlike the Southern tradition of the master sending House Negroes to calm down other slaves after they’d heard a bit of truth.

I’m not going to republish the article here. Here’s the Cliff Notes version: “Oh no, Massa don’t hate queers! Janice must have been distraught and, um, misunderstood when people treated her like shit for eight hours until Lisa’s sister arrived and got information immediately without proving that she was related. She just misunderstood, see!”

In an open letter this morning, Janice Langbehn responded, again through Steve Rothaus’ blog. Click through to read her full comments, but here’s a taste:

I was given a link for the Miami Herald article done by John Dorschner (11/24) that I believe just set our family back 2.5 years. In the article a lesbian charge nurse at Jackson Memorial (apparently on duty the night Lisa was there) says she personally knows the SW and he is fine with her and her partner. The article goes on and basically accuses me of being irate in the waiting room and all but calls me a liar for what our family endured. I am beyond shocked to say the least that this would come just 5 days after an apology from other employees of the hospital. I wish I had been irate because maybe then I wouldn’t feel like a failure for not being with Lisa instead of doing as I was told – to repeatedly to take a seat and just “wait”.

I am letting you all know of this article posting and that I was NOT contacted to provide any information for this article. I don’t know the reporter who did this article for the Miami Herald. As you might guess I am at a loss and feel so personally attacked and that the apology I received last week in Miami was just lip service.

I am asking that you do not let give up the fight for equal treatment for our families, especially in crisis situations. I have Lisa’s medical records, I know when they stopped critical care. And as for the nurses to say my memory may be “hazy” is such a disservice to Lisa and our family. I have never wavered what happened that night – only JMH has they try to find new ways to spin the truth to make them look better since the LGBT community is afraid to seek care at their facilities.

Please keep Janice and her children in your prayers and thoughts this Thanksgiving. I’m not sure how you’ll tie that in to giving thanks, but they deserve your unending support.

P.S.: Janice, you are far from a failure. Quite the contrary, you are an inspiration!

Note: The comments section on my original blog post about Lisa and Janice got way out of hand until I finally shut them down. Before you comment here, please read the comment rules for this blog and know that comments that break those rules will be deleted.

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